It is extremely critical that “major gaps” in equipment and staff needed to maintain United Nations peacekeeping operations are filled “in the shortest time possible” Atul Khare, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, said ahead of a major gathering of global defence ministers in Canada.
On the eve of the second UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference, taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday in Vancouver, British Columbia, Mr. Khare said: “We are trying to make do. We are trying to do the best that we can; we are trying many innovations.”
The Conference, hosted by Canada, is the largest gathering of defence ministers dedicated to UN peacekeeping. It aims to:
- measure the progress made since the 2016 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference;
- encourage new pledges from Member States, particularly in areas where the UN faces gaps, such as rapid deployment, helicopters and francophone units;
- advance peacekeeping reform through the efforts of Member States and the UN to improve the UN’s capacity to better plan and perform peacekeeping operations; and
- foster pragmatic and innovative solutions to make peacekeeping operations more effective, by building on the ‘3Ps’ – pledges, planning, performance – with a new focus on partnerships.
“This meeting is critical to our work. We have now indications that about 80 countries – which is quite a large number – are likely to attend at ministerial level […] This is a very good indication of the importance which countries attach to this meeting,” said Mr. Khare.
In an exclusive interview with UN News, the senior official talks more about the importance of the meeting to UN peacekeeping, and what his expectations are for the outcome.
UN News will be in Vancouver, British Columbia, covering the Conference and its associated events. Follow @UN_News_Centre to stay up to date on news and highlights.